The military spokesperson said the genocide allegation is a grand design to tarnish and denigrate the image of Nigerian Armed Forces.
The Nigerian military has described the genocide allegations levelled against it by a Kaduna based cleric, Abubakar Gumi, “as not only diversionary but unfortunate”.
This was contained in a press statement marked DHQ/ABJ/901/32/DDI and signed by the Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade.
Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, said the Nigerian military had no involvement in the alleged genocide also published in the front page of Abuja based newspaper, Blueprint, on May 22 with the caption, “Alleged Killing field in Borno”.
The military spokesperson said the genocide allegation is a grand design to tarnish and denigrate the image of Nigerian Armed Forces and also divert attention and pitch public opinion against the armed forces.
“While the military will continue to respect freedom of expression of Nigerians, it will not submit to desperate blackmail and propaganda aimed at diverting attention and pitching public opinion against the armed forces.
“Although the real motive of the report and presentation with the apparent intention to impute military complicity in the event depicted in the pictures is yet to unfold, the DHQ sees this allegation as the manifestation of yet another grand design to tarnish and denigrate the image of Nigerian Armed Forces”.
“The location and occasion where the events captured in the pictures were taken is unknown and has no bearing whatsoever as insinuated in the report by the Blueprint newspaper. The individual holding stick which the paper mischievously described as “a soldier stand(ing) guard…” is certainly not a Nigerian soldier neither is any of those captured in the pictures,” he said.
He advised the media not to be used to tarnish the good name of the Nigerian Armed Forces and further assured Nigerians of the military’s professionalism.